Oregon Innocence Project (and April 9th Benefit and Launch Party)

Oregon Innocence Project:

The Oregon Innocence Project (OIP) is a joint project of the Oregon Justice Resource Center (an independent nonprofit based out of Lewis & Clark Law School) and Metropolitan Public Defender whose mission is to (1) exonerate the innocent, (2) educate and train law students, and (3) promote legal reforms aimed at preventing wrongful convictions….” [Link to the OIP.]

The Oregon Innocence Project Launch and Benefit Party, April 9, 2014

Featured Speaker:
Barry Scheck, Co-founder and Co-Director of the national Innocence Project

Special Guests:
Exoneree and former NFL player Brian Banks
Secretary of State Kate Brown
The Honorable Paul De Muniz
Best selling author Phillip Margolin
Civil rights attorney Elden Rosenthal
Oregon State Rep. Jennifer Williamson


Access to Justice: The Center, the Conference, the Index, the Blog

The Center: National Center for Access to Justice

The Conference: Equal Justice Conference (Portland, Oregon, April 30-May 3, 2014) (there is a Self-Represented Litigation Network Educational Program on Wednesday, April 30 (8:30am-5:30pm).)

The Index: Justice Index

The BlogAccess to Justice Blog (Richard Zorza’s extraordinary compilation of A2J resources and news. And read the Kennedy-Katzenbach statement from 50 years ago on access to justice)

There’s more: See what many states are doing on the A2J front (and I’ll be adding great information about the Michigan Legal Help program to this list).

How Does Oregon Rank in the (Access to) Justice Index

Visit the Justice Index beta site for preliminary findings.

Note: access to justice is different from access to courts – and then there is access to affordable legal assistance.

1) You’ve just been charged with DUII.
2) You are a small business owner, or want to start a small business, and need to know about how, or if, to incorporate.
3) Your son who is in jail needs to know how to pay his child support.
4) You are a self-represented litigant and want to know how to ask a question about a court procedure.
5) You just found out your “husband” was married when he “married” you – after you moved here from another country.
6) Your college kid’s landlord just sued for back rent.
7) Your local law librarian advised you to talk to a lawyer before renting out that room in your house.
8) Your local law librarian recommended you talk to a lawyer before evicting that person who is renting out that room in your house.

There’s more! Lots, and lots, and lots more. But you get my drift.

Equal Justice Conference (Portland, Oregon, April 30-May 3, 2014)

The American Bar Association’s  Equal Justice Conference (EJC) 2014 will be held in Portland, Oregon.

You may register for a pre-conference session for $75, without having to register for the entire EJC conference!

Among other EJC and pre-conference programs, there is one for Access to Justice (A2J) professionals, public law librarians, and those who are interested public law library or public library legal reference services and A2J (access to justice) issues:

Self-Represented Litigation Network Educational Program, Wednesday, April 30 (8:30am-5:30pm)

EJC links:

1) Equal Justice Conference (ABA) 2014, Portland, Oregon

2) Access to Justice blog post about the Self-Represented Litigation Network Pre-Conference in Portland

If you want to attend the pre-conference program, please complete the registration form and send it to:

Erin Wellin, CMP
Meetings & Committee Specialist, Legal Services Division
American Bar Association; 321 N Clark St.; Chicago, IL 60654
T: 312.988.5756


Oregon public and public law library A2J resources can be found at the Washington County Law Library website, e.g.:

1) Oregon public libraries and A2J resources

2) Public Law Libraries: Selected Readings on Legal Reference, Self-Represented Litigants, Limited Scope Legal Assistance, Law Clinics, Civil Gideon, Lawyers in Libraries, and related Public Law Library Issues

Access to Justice Updates from Richard Zorza

Lots of interesting posts on Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog:

1) Guest Post from World Bank’s Paul Prettitore on Legal Aid in Jordan (10/10/13)

2) NYT Piece on Doctor “Mindfulness” has Major Implications for Lawyers and Judges (9/26/13)

3) Reflecting on Court Technology at Midtown Community Court’s 20th Anniversary (9/22/13), including a link to the NCSC “The Ten Commandments of Electronic Courthouse Design, Planning, and Implementation: The Lessons of the Midtown Community Court”

4) ABA Task Force Recommends Legal Education Changes, Including Licensing of Less Trained Legal Professionals (9/20/13)

5) Fordham Law School’s Nov 1, 2013 Symposium on Access to Justice (9/19/13)

Access to Justice and Simplifying the Legal System

If Access to Justice (A2J) is to be something other than a catch-phrase or a pipe dream, lawyers, judges, court administrators, and law librarians need to think, plan, and act creatively on micro and macro initiatives.

Many ideas are already on drawing boards, in app programmer hands, and in pilot project status.  Court Simplification is another A2J Big Idea and here are some places to read about it:

1) You can Google the phrase “court simplification” for information.

2) Richard Zorza’s Drake Law Review paper on simplification: “Some First Thoughts on Court Simplification: The Key to Civil Access and Justice Transformation.” [Link directly to PDF.]

…. To summarize the approach proposed here: We must find ways to radically simplify the legal dispute resolution system so it becomes much more accessible and so the costs of accessing and operating the system dramatically decrease. Such an increase in access will lead to an improvement in the justness and fairness of outcomes….” [Link to full article.]

3) Related Zorza post on courts, budgets, and access to justice, June 17, 2013: “Professor in Nederlands On Strategies for Access Change,” notes from the International Legal Aid Group meeting in the Nederlands

Richard Zorza homepage.

Access to Justice: Lawyer Referral, Self-Represented Litigants, Courthouse Self-Help, and more

Thinking about legal self help, access to justice, unbundled legal services?

Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog has all kinds of intriguing posts and links, e.g.

1) “Lawyer Referral Services Are the Key Gateway to Unbundled Services and California Leads the Way,” 10/16/12.

2) “Time for a National Center on Mobile Access to Justice,” posted 11/3/12

3) “Court Simplification Working Paper from SRLN,” 10/30/12

4) “What Happens When a Federal Court Pays Attention to the Self-Represented — the Central District of California Bankruptcy Court Is A Model for Us All,” 10/18/12

You can also link directly to the  Self Represented Litigation Network (SRLN), another organization for legal service providers. They work with courts, legal aid service providers, public law librarians, and many others on Access to Justice initiatives.

Access to Justice & the Evolving Role of Law Libraries in the 21st Century

Report on Evolving Role of Law Libraries in the 21st Century,” by Richard Zorza

Law libraries can continue to play an integral role in the courts and justice system in the 21st Century, but only if they change their orientation towards helping the public access the legal system.  A new report released by Zorza & Associates today, titled “The Sustainable 21st Century Law Library: Vision, Deployment and Assessment for Access to Justice,” notes the vast changes to the law library landscape over the past twenty years and the potentially critical new role they can play as an access to justice resource for people without lawyers….” [Link to blog post and full text of report.]

Press release.

Access to Justice in Oregon: A Lawyer Speaks Out

“If you want to keep law resources, contact your legislator,” Feb 8, 2012, letter by a Columbia County attorney, published in the South County Spotlight.

This is an important reminder that, no, not all legal research resources are online, and even if they were, people still need to learn how to research the law, how to compile legislative histories, and where to find legal assistance services in their communities.